At these management conferences -- and even more so at Governing's Managing Technology conferences -- you always hear a lot about management systems like enterprise resource planning (ERPs). There's always a lot of talk about how a new streamlined system can revolutionize the way a city or state catalogs and uses its data.
But at a session yesterday, I heard someone put it an interesting way. Lynn Vellinga, the state accounting officer for Georgia, who has guided the state's implementation of a new ERP system, was talking about how it's not just the technology that can change things -- you've got to change the way your people are behaving.
Basically, if you don't change your business practices, you're still going to have exactly the same problems, regardless of your shiny new ERP.
Here's how Vellinga summarized it: "By switching technology but not changing the practices of your people, you can create a legacy system out of new technology."